News Roundup: Sept 21

Top Stories

The Cranberries have pulled their new video “Analyze” from TV and are editing it, Reuters reports. A combination of scenes in the video, including a person walking by the outline of a dead body and an airplane flying over London’s skyline, was too strong a reminder of America’s tragedy. “Analyze” is the newest releases from the band’s new album, Wake up and Smell the Coffee.

Variety reports that Louisiana Congressman W.J. Tauzin (R) responded Thursday to Bill Maher‘s derogatory comments about politicians and the U.S. military, saying, “While we don’t agree with what [Maher] said originally, we will continue to defend his First Amendment right to stick his foot in his mouth.” Maher has been sharply criticized for saying on his show, Politically Incorrect, “We have been the cowards lobbing cruise missiles from 2,000 miles away…. That’s cowardly. Staying in the airplane when it hits the building, say what you want about it, it’s not cowardly.”

Comedian John Stewart, host of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, returned to TV with a sobering program Thursday, The Associated Press reports. The comedian, like his network counterparts Jay Leno and David Letterman, didn’t want in-your-face sarcasm to disturb the recovery of the recent attacks on the U.S. Stewart esteemed the U.S. for allowing humor in times like these, and when asked how he would handle his show now, Stewart said, “I don’t see it as a burden. I see it as a privilege.”

The Broadway musical “Urinetown” opened Thursday to a crowd of excited theater-goers. The musical, a show about a company that controls public toilets, was moved back from its originally scheduled opening date due to the bombing in New York, according to AP. Audience members seemed ready to resume life as usual–unafraid for their safety–and celebrated the event afterwards at a local club.

In Court

Deborah Holcombe, the widow of a man who died earlier this year on the set of the upcoming film Spider-Man, is suing Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Entertainment for wrongful death, according to Variety. The man, Tim Holcombe, a welder on the set of the film, died when a forklift fell on him on March 6.

In General

The CBS show Big Brother 2 finished its final episode Thursday night. All the former houseguests who were previously evicted from the show voted for who they thought deserved the grand prize. Will was the winner, walking away with $500,000, and runner-up Nicole won $50,000. The show, pushed back by President Bush’s address to Congress, aired at about 10 p.m.

Rock memorabilia continues to fetch a high price with Sex Pistols’ merchandise auctioning for almost 28,000 pounds Thursday, Reuters reports. Items included a ripped shirt worn by the band’s lead singer and a copy of the controversial song “God Save the Queen.” Upcoming auctions include drawings, photographs and Stuart Sutcliffe’s guitar.” Sutcliffe, who’s known as the “Fifth Beatle,” was a close friend of John Lennon‘s, and his estate includes several Beatles items.

Nicole Kidman and Kate Winslet may be cast for parts on the London stage by the end of next year, Reuters reports. It is not known whether the two will be in the same production.

Stanley Kubrick‘s 1968 classic 2001: A Space Odyssey will hit theaters again on Oct. 5, in limited release, as Warner Bros. will debut a new, digitally enhanced version of the film. The new-and-improved 2001 will also boast a remastered soundtrack better suited to today’s audio technology, according to Reuters.

NBC bought the story rights to the Colombian soap Betty la Fea (Ugly Betty) on Wednesday, Reuters reports. The Peacock Network may produce a sitcom from the material to air in fall of 2002.

In an effort to cut costs, House of Blues, the small-venue concert promoter based in Hollywood, will eliminate almost 40 jobs and decrease its online efforts, according to Variety. The company is also reconsidering plans to move forward with its own record label, laying off the man in charge of the project, Lou Mann.

Several members of Congress are fighting to shoot down legislation that would require major record labels to succumb to strict regulation of their online music ventures. Rep. Rich Boucher (D-Va.) introduced the legislation earlier this summer in an effort to prohibit labels from cutting unfair deals with online music providers. Boucher’s colleagues, however, think it is too early in the life of the Internet to begin harsh regulation. The hearing to address this issue has been postponed due to the terrorist attacks, but will be rescheduled shortly, according to Variety. staffers Stephanie N. Marcucci and Jason Alcorn contributed to this report